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Guitar Lessons in Chicago, IL

By Will P. - Chicago Guitar Teacher While it’s impossible to pinpoint any one locale as “the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the city of Chicago has a strong claim to the title. In 1955, Chuck Berry came to Chicago to record for the already world-renowned Chess Records label. For years, Chess (and Chicago) had been home to some America’s most famous blues artists: Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Etta James and Sonny Williamson, just to name a few. So when Chuck Berry and fellow rock innovator Bo Diddley came to Chess to cut their first records, Chicago became an epicenter not only for blues but also for the exploding rock ‘n’ roll scene – and one central component to that new wave of music was the guitar.

Follow that track through the second half of the twentieth century to the present and it’s clear Chicago has always been a critical point on the map of American guitar music. Today, world class bands like the Smashing Pumpkins, OK GO, and Wilco all call Chicago home. Chicago is the permanent home to music festivals Lollapalooza and Pitchfork, and the city hosts its own jazz, blues and gospel festivals every summer, bringing some of the top guitarists in the world to Grant Park. Eric Clapton has even chosen Chicago as the site for his Crossroads Guitar Festival for the last few years.

Meanwhile, the independent music scene thrives in Chicago. On any given night of the week you can find excellent local groups and artists playing a myriad of genres and styles of music: jazz, blues, indie rock, pop, punk, and metal. As a student of bass or guitar lessons in Chicago, this is a critical factor: in a city with such a rich musical tradition and so many talented musicians, you’re bound to find a wealth of excellent teachers willing to share their knowledge and experience with you.

You might be surprised to learn that many of the musicians you see rocking out on stage on any given night also work as mild-mannered instructors teaching guitar lessons in Chicago during the days and evenings. This can be a tremendous resource for music students; you can learn from your instructor in a one-on-one setting and then go to see them and their peers in action onstage. Without a doubt, one of the most important aspects of learning to play an instrument (aside from lots of practice!) is listening to music and going to concerts to see how the skills and techniques you’re learning actually play out on stage in a real performance setting. With so many great musicians to see perform and so many skilled teachers to work with, the opportunities to dive in and immerse yourself in guitar lessons in Chicago have never been greater.

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Paul W.

Chicago, IL

I tailor all my lessons to the individual students interests and wants.
Whatever your goals are, I'll help you get there.

About Paul

I have played the guitar for twenty years and have studied a wide variety of music including jazz, classical, folk, blues and rock. I’m skilled in acoustic, electric and classical styles of the guitar. I have an open mind about music and can appreciate any style or type. I have a firm background on music theory, so I am able to explain what I am teaching. I excelled in all my classes in college, music and Gen Eds, with a GPA over 3.75. I also have experience in teaching guitar or bass to students ranging from the ages of six to sixty six. I enjoy taking what I have learned and passing it
on to someone else to experience. I believe this is one way you can leave your mark in music. I believe the experience I have playing in bands, and learning songs with my ability of having relative pitch will make my students improve quicker. I am also a very skilled sight reader and can recognize key signatures and musical notation. I’ve also been playing electric bass guitar for 13 years now and have the same skill set as my guitar playing. In fact I am hired to perform more often as a bassist than a guitarist.
I went to Columbia College between 2000-2003 and I completed a Bachelor Arts in Music, Concentration: Instrument Performance.
I also went to Harper College between 1997-2000 and I completed an Associates in Fine Arts of Music.

*** Lesson Details ***
I tailor all my lessons to the individual students interests and wants.
Whatever your goals are, I'll help you get there.
If you just want to learn music theory or how to write a song, I can teach you all that and more.
I will teach you how to read music but if you don't wan't to do that, I will teach you how to read tablature.
I'll push you to learn your instrument and to practice but I won't force to practice anything that you are not interested in.
After about 3-6 months of lessons with me you will be able to play songs that you wanted to learn and you will also know all the essential fun basics of your instrument.
Learning the guitar or bass is fun! And as your teacher I will make you want to practice.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons will be downstairs which has music stands, guitars, cords and books.

*** Travel Equipment ***
My guitar and music stand. They should have a guitar and an amp if needed.

*** Specialties ***
Anything from classic rock to blues, jazz, classical, modern rock, punk rock, music theory, improvising and songwriting.
...

Reviews

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Kevin C. January 6, 2017
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Paul is the man and this first lesson was amazing!
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Anant October 21, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
I started with Paul about 6-8 weeks back and i am already starting to play some famous songs. which is great for motivation. He can mold the class as you desire based on your choice of music and style of learning. He is a wonderful teacher for all age groups. I would recommend taking lessons with him.
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Alex September 18, 2016
Guitar · In studio
I'm writing this because honestly, I would not be where i am today without the guidance and teachings of Paul. His ability to bridge the gap between technique and style is truly priceless & continues to reward me a decade after taking lessons with him. As a touring musician, I owe a lot of my understanding of music to him. Thank you Paul!
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Paul W.

Paul W.

Chicago, IL 60622
(44)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Michael S.

Chicago, IL

From topics such as reading sheet music to playing the guitar solo of your dreams, we can do it all! The desire and drive to learn is all you need!

About Michael

Expressing yourself is the ultimate goal of music and my job is to help you get your point across!

Like any musician, music is my life.
I love to soak it in any way I can! Whether it be listening to records, jamming with my friends or watching all the live concert footage of Stevie Ray Vaughan I can get my hands on.

I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor’s of Art in Music with a concentration on guitar performance. Throughout my undergraduate studies I performed in various ensembles within the college’s curriculum. Currently, my solo project gives me the opportunity
to continue to grow through writing and performing my own original pieces. Throughout my career I have had the honor of performing with renowned songwriters Todd Rundgren and Charlie Sexton as well as being mentored by jazz drummer Frank Donaldson of The Ramsey Lewis Quartet.

*** Lesson Details ***

Studying at the college level taught me a lot about what not to do as a teacher. The material is already difficult enough, so why would I be difficult with you?

I strive to be more of a mentor and friend rather than taskmaster. However, I do require structure and commitment to getting better. My curriculum will revolve around you and your needs with added material that I feel will help you succeed.

A typical lesson plan includes:

 physical technique

 chord and scale knowledge,

 soloing concepts

 and tying all of these ideas together by learning a song in a genre you love!

All of these concepts culminate in the discovery of your own personal voice!

*** Studio Equipment ***
My teaching studio is just steps away from the Belmont Blue Line stop! Our lessons will be held in a private practice space in my home. The large room has multiple amps and guitars, so there is no need to bring an instrument for lessons if you don't want to! (But, you do need an instrument to practice with outside of our lessons!)
...

Reviews

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Todd B. January 2, 2017
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
The first lesson with Michael was fun. He has a great personality and doesn't sound like Ben Stein when he's teaching.

Micheal has a great way of communicating the lesson information through teaching principals, he has a wealth of music knowledge and recognizes my way of learning. I liked that the lesson was broken up into segments and he ensured I understood the concept before we moved on the next portion.

Micheal provided valuable feedback during the lesson and followed up with me via email. Included in the email was tablature and backing tracks to assist with practice.

I'm looking forward to our next lesson!
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Gurmit December 19, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · Online
Verified Student
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Gina August 31, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Great first lesson! :)
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Michael S.

Michael S.

Chicago, IL 60618
(22)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
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Daniel K.

Chicago, IL

Wide range of studies.

About Daniel

Daniel, a former faculty member of Columbia College in Chicago, is a studio and live performance singer and musician based in Chicago. His teaching and performing experience spans three decades, and includes expertise in the studies of voice, guitar, piano, bass, drums, and trumpet, along with music theory, arranging, and composing. He is a Lincoln Academy Student Laureate who holds a BA in Music Composition, and has attended graduate courses in education at Roosevelt University and DePaul University in Chicago. He has taught students of all ages at private studios, public school, and college.


Daniel is described by his students as a natural teacher. He prefers to be regarded as an advancing student, and takes the journey along with his students to guide them towards their goals with a friendly, positive, efficient and productive approach. He feels that music is within all of us, and a desire to learn is a sign of talent, so anyone can develop their musical abilities with methodical practice.

The musical journey for Daniel began at an early age with trumpet and piano studies which became a passion for him by the age of 14. He was the drum major of the high school marching band, and successfully completed a paid contract to arrange music for the high school jazz band which performed in a state beauty pageant. He began teaching privately after high school, and continued playing in bands, and composing original music. He formed a professional jazz ensemble under the name of the Chicago Jazz Players by the age of 22, and developed his arranging techniques while having it performed by an eighteen piece orchestra consisting of many great local artists. It was in this environment that he gained experience with brass, woodwinds, and rhythm instruments. He was granted a position at Columbia College as an instructor at age 29 where he taught theory, sight singing, musicianship, ear training, harmony, orchestration, and composition. He scored the music for several plays, and conducted his own pieces with Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera Players. During those years he found himself playing the guitar and singing more than anything else. It was in 1995 that he focused on singing and playing the guitar with his rock band. He has produced several CD recordings of his original music in his own studio, and has helped produce local bands and artists. He performs regularly in the Chicago area.

*** Lesson Details ***
Daniel exhibits patience and care with each student, and develops an individualized approach based on clear goals with practical procedures. Most beginners can expect to have a working knowledge of music notation and how it applies to their instrument within three months, and should be developing fluency in performing music that they enjoy within six months. Advancing students will enjoy the rewards that will follow by studying with an experienced teaching musician that will recognize strengths and weaknesses, and recommend proven techniques for personal musical development. Studying music should be fun, fulfilling, and in harmony with the needs and desires of the student, and this is key to the philosophy held by Daniel.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Eight track recording gear; grand piano; guitars/bass (acoustic & electric); cables/amps, drum kit and percussion.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide lesson materials, and always have a metronome with me. I expect the student to have an instrument. I prefer that a student has a music stand.

*** Specialties ***
Customized approach to the individual based on needs and goals.
...

Reviews

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carlos January 4, 2017
Saxophone · In studio
have never touched a musical instrument in my life. Im 46 years old. Dave brought the lesson to my level beginers and I feel confident that I will do well with Dave.
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Todd December 7, 2016
Trumpet · In studio
Knowledgeable about many areas of music (teaches many instruments). Very professional. Treats my child with respect and is good about focusing on the fundamentals of good playing so as not to develop bad habits which become harder to correct if not corrected early on. Gives my child suggestions and practice homework to improve techniques and proficiency.
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Julie November 30, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Daniel is a natural teacher and inspires his students to share his love for music. He has a lot of experience and is patient with learners of all abilities. I have had 3 lessons with him so far and have thoroughly enjoyed my experience. I am new to singing but learned piano when I was younger so I am not entirely new to music. He has helped me expand my horizons and believe in what I can do with my voice. During class, we cover music theory as well as the actual singing part. Progress will go faster if you study the theory on your own (he provides you with all the materials you need to learn) and come prepared.
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Daniel K.

Daniel K.

Chicago, IL 60613
(28)
starting at
$34 / 30-min
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Matt B.

Chicago, IL

I teach all guitar styles to all ability levels.

About Matt

I earned a Bachelor's of Music in Classical Guitar Performance from Capital University in Columbus, OH.

I currently teach private guitar lessons, sing and play guitar in the Chicago rock band Dead Parade, and transcribe music professionally for a wide variety of clients. Occasionally, I write articles or do interviews that appear in magazines such as Guitar World. In the past, I worked for 8 years as a guitar teacher, transcriber, consultant, and free-lance writer for a popular subscription guitar site. I also served as a guitar instructor/lecturer at Capital University's Community Music Sc
hool under the direction of renowned music educator Dr. Rebecca Johnson. Over the duration of my 16 year teaching career, I have taught over a 200 students of all ages and levels of experience.

I developed a reputation of being a musical jack of all trades. I am proficient in teaching and performing any style of guitar. However, I am best known for my rock guitar playing, songwriting abilities, classical guitar performance skills, and my ability to teach these skill sets effectively.
...

Reviews

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Matt December 23, 2016
Blues Guitar · Online
Can't say enough good things. I've always been more of a rhythm player. The whole subject of lead guitar is really intimidating. I never knew where to begin, so I never have. I started taking lessons with Matt to see if I could get a structured approach to learning to improvise, play memorized solos, etc. He's made something that was totally intimidating very easy to understand. It really helps to have a professional teach you a logical process since there is such an overwhelming amount of information to learn and apply.
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Darren December 21, 2016
Composition · In studio
I take songwriting/composition lessons with Matt every once in awhile. Prior to lessons, I thought songwriting was just a talent that some people have and some people don't. Like Matt says though, it's all about learning as much theory as you can, and working as hard as you can.

Matt is excellent at explaining complicated theory in a very simple way. Then, he always explains how this information can be applied directly to writing music. He also has an encyclopedic knowledge of songs and pieces that use various compositional techniques. So, he's always able to reference specific songs in lessons on the fly. Not to mention, Matt is an absolutely killer guitar player!
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Walter E. September 7, 2016
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
Great teacher - has a program to teach you but is not adverse to exploring your particular likes.
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Matt B.

Matt B.

Chicago, IL 60622
(17)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Nathan W.

Chicago, IL

I have been playing guitar for 7 years and studied Jazz and Blues guitar at Columbia College Chicago for two years. I love the guitar and believe if you practice every day you will show a significant increase in talent. I can teach people who have never touched a guitar before to people who might want to learn a little more than how to cover their favorite songs. I can teach music theory techniques to help you understand your instrument more and communicate to other people with, I can teach how to read sheet music with guitar (as well as transition musicians from guitar tabs to sheet), I can teach basic jazz chords, triads, bar chords, power chords, basic scales, modes, read fake books, improvise, solo, hammer-ons/offs, slide guitar, alternate picking, finger picking, as well as more experimental guitar such as using a guitar for sampling, prepared guitar, manipulating guitar tones with pedals, using a guitar with a computer, and many other fun ways to play guitar!

About Nathan

I am a musician originally from Cleveland, OH and moved here to Chicago about five years ago. I've been a lifelong musician playing piano since I was six years old and playing guitar since I was 14. I started teaching myself how to write songs when I was 15 and have been writing ever since. I studied music for three years at Columbia College Chicago and then transferred to the Audio Arts and Acoustics program and graduated with a degree in Audio Production. I have taught friends and children how to play instruments as well as use the application Ableton to create electronic music independently
and love doing so. I hope to introduce you to the wonderful world of music in a fun and engaging environment that will have you craving to learn more.
...

Reviews

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Bryce P. April 30, 2015
Banjo · In studio
Verified Student
Nathan is a very affable and adroit banjo teacher. He has an extremely wide knowledge of all things musical.
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Nathan W.

Nathan W.

Chicago, IL 60651
(1)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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